<< Back

This job listing is no longer active.
Please use our Environment Jobs Search to find current vacancies.


Soil Scientist/Dryland Ecologist

Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Town/City Bamako, Mali.
Salary Range Dependent on Experience
Type Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status Full Time
Level Mid Level
Deadline 14/04/2009
Company Name International Centre for Tropical Agriculture
Contact Name
Website Further Details / Applications
International Centre for Tropical Agriculture logo
Also Listing:

CIAT is one of 15 not-for-profit Centers funded mainly by various countries, private foundations, international and regional organizations that make up the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). CIAT conducts socially and environmentally progressive research aimed at reducing hunger and poverty, and preserving natural resources in developing countries. The Center offers internationally competitive salary packages, is an equal opportunity employer and believes that the diversity of its staff contributes to excellence. CIAT is interested in increasing this diversity of its staff and particularly encourages applications from both women and developing country professionals. The Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility Institute (CIAT-TSBF) of CIAT operates as an integral part of the CIAT research program and is housed at the ICRAF Campus, Nairobi, Kenya.

CIAT is seeking to fill the position of a Soil Scientist/Dryland Ecologist for the African Soils Information Service (ASIS) Project of CIAT-TSBF.

The ASIS Project will develop a practical, timely, cost-effective, soil health surveillance service to map soil conditions, set a baseline for monitoring changes and to provide options for improved soil management. The system will facilitate identifying areas at risk of soil degradation and corresponding preventive and rehabilitative soil management interventions based on analyses of what works, and what doesn't.

The project will build on recent advances in digital soil mapping, infrared spectroscopy, remote sensing, computational statistics and integrated soil fertility management to improve the way that soils are evaluated, mapped and monitored, while significantly reducing the costs to do so, and to disseminate innovative soil management methods such as the combination of inorganic fertilizers with organic inputs that improve crop yields while enhancing the environment. Dissemination and training will make the project's outcomes highly accessible to farm communities, public, and private extension services, national agricultural research and soil survey organizations, the fertilizer sector, project and local planners, national and regional policymakers, and scientists. The efforts in Africa are part of a wider, global effort to digitally map the world soil resources, and this project will help catalyze the global effort.

The position

The Dryland Ecologist will report to the CIAT-TSBF Director through the Leader of ASIS Objective 3. The aim of Objective 3 is to develop digital soil maps and establish soil health surveillance system in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), by setting-up data, metadata, case definitions, spatial sampling and interpretation standards, acquiring, digitizing and spectrally characterizing soil legacy data; assembling, processing and interpreting remote sensing data and existing national soil maps, collecting and analyzing soil health data from (at least) 60 continentally representative sentinel sites, and generate high resolution digital maps of soil functional properties for 18.1 million km2 of SSA, including soil degradation status and biophysical and socioeconomic risk factors.


Scientific responsibilities

  • Organize and implement ASIS field survey campaigns in Western Africa.
  • Perform spectral and laboratory analyses of soil samples.
  • Provide (GIS) database management for field, spectral, and laboratory data.
  • Prepare oral presentations, reports, and scientific articles.
  • Mentor technical staff and graduate students.

Administrative responsibilities

  • Facilitate all aspects of ASIS field operations and logistics in Western Africa.
  • Meet reporting and Monitoring and Evaluation requirements of ASIS.
  • Represent and articulate the ASIS mission and its scientific accomplishments in local and international settings.

Outreach and communication

  • Establish effective working relationships and facilitate collaboration with national soil survey and research staff in Western Africa.
  • Represent and articulate the ASIS mission and its scientific accomplishments in local and international settings.


Qualifications and experience

  • PhD in Soil Science, Hydrology, or related field, post-doctoral experience strongly preferred with at least 5 years working experience in Africa. Whilst the intention is to appoint a person of outstanding scientific reputation, particular emphasis will be placed on proven qualities for leadership.
  • Experience of managing networks and/or multi-institutional and multi-cultural collaborative projects will be an advantage.
  • Proven analytical skills in GIS, remote sensing, and spatial statistics.
  • Willingness to conduct fieldwork in remote areas for extended periods of time.
  • Strong client service orientation.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills. Ability to motivate people to produce quality work within tight timeframes.
  • Valid driving license.

Personal characteristics

  • Team player with personality traits that enable him/her to motivate and communicate with all levels of the professional and support staff.
  • Self-starting, energetic style, with an ability to work effectively with little day-to-day direction or supervision.
  • Reputation of integrity, high intelligence, creativity, and the ability to exercise good judgment.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and an ability to establish rapport and credibility with people at all organizational levels, forming strong relationships, both internally and externally.
  • Committed to transparency and continuous improvement in a cooperative atmosphere of constructive evaluation and learning.
  • Fluency in English and French.

Terms of employment

The contract will be for a 2-year period, renewable subject to 6 months probation period and assessment of performance. Starting date: as early as possible, after selection. CIAT offers an internationally competitive salary and benefits package commensurate with the position's responsibilities and the education and experience of the successful candidate.

Applicants should apply by e-mail, sending a cover letter summarizing their relevance to this position, a full C.V. and the names and contact information of three referees knowledgeable about the candidate's professional qualifications and work experience. Applications should be sent to the Human Resources Office at CIAT (a.l.restrepo@cgiar.org) with copies to m.sambo@cgiar.org. The reference name of the position should be clearly marked on the subject line of the e-mail message.

All applications will be acknowledged; only short listed candidates will be contacted.

Closing date for applications: 14 November 2008.

We invite you to learn more about CIAT and CIAT-TSBF by accessing our web Sites at www.ciat.cgiar.org and www.ciat.cgiar.org/tsbf_institute/index.htm, respectively.

Add to My Account
<< Back